This month two widespread branches of PHP will reach the end of support. The first one is PHP 7.4, released on the 28th of November 2019, reached the end of active support a year ago and will stop receiving security support in 3 days, on the 28th of November, 2022. The second branch is PHP 8.0, released on the 26th of November 2020 and will reach the end of active support in 1 day on the 26th of November.
Despite the end of support, PHP 7.4 still stays one of the most popular programming languages. For example, according to the usage statistics provided by w3techs.com, 77.5% of the websites whose server-side programming languages they know use PHP. And as of today, 31.8% of the websites worldwide are using versions that belong to branch 7.4. In addition, 54.7% of the websites worldwide use 7.4 or older versions. As for PHP 8.0 - it is about ten times less popular. Only 3.2% of the websites are using it.
It looks like many websites will skip several language releases and jump straight from the seventh version to 8.1 or even newer, 8.2, which is expected to be released this December, changing the “tradition” to roll out new versions at the end of November.
The upcoming release may require significant changes for the sites, which will migrate to the new version since some features will be deprecated, such as Dynamic Properties, utf8_encode and utf8_decode functions, and others.
Image Credit: php.net